Community Development Service — The NYSC scheme had a lofty aim to reintegrate Nigerians together through their youths by sending young graduates to faraway areas distinct from their background. I believe this goal would not be achieved by corp members just getting to know this new community, their culture and life style and maybe learning and appreciating a thing or two, without them expressing and reciprocating love and friendliness to their new host community.
To be able to achieve this NYSC has made compulsory a program called Community Development Service (CDS). The program enables corp members the opportunity to contribute to the development of their host community.
Anyone who created that idea must have had goodwill towards our fatherland. Contrary to many views I don’t think the goal of this program has been defeated. Many say that the CDS is just one boring weekly meeting and so a waste of time, but I ask, “Who is supposed to make it lively?”
Do you want to know what I think? I think it is the corp members that are boring themselves. Are they expecting the NYSC officials to come to their meeting and make it lively? Why can’t they be creative and find ways to meet the goals of their CDS group and the general objective of the NYSC CDS. Most of these corpers I see them as generation of lazy set of people, who are just selfishly expressing a ‘what is in it for me’ attitude.
What stops them from finding ways to improve their host community rather than sitting around chatting away on meaningless trivialities?
For you prospective corp member I hope your generation would not join the trend. Personally you can come up to encourage a different way of thinking or doing things in the CDS group you find yourself. You have been called to serve so serve. “There is more happiness in giving than in receiving”, I think that those words are found in one Holy Book.
CATEGORIES OF THE NYSC CDS GROUP
The community development service comes in different categories. The different categories should interest you just as they make me fall in love with the program the more.
The group CDS is the general and basic cds group that every corp member is expected to participate in. Once every week corpers in a particular CDS group are expected to meet together to hold meetings and to make and carry out programs that would benefit their host community. The services they render are based on the name of the group and the objective of the group towards themselves and to their host community.
It is important to note that group CDS vary from local government to local government. I think the CDS groups are selected according to the needs and practicality of the CDS group to the host community. The skills, abilities or qualifications of the corp members are also considered in assigning them to a group. A list of different CDS groups is enlisted below.
In these weekly CDS meeting certain protocols are held. This meeting procedures and interactions serve to be a good ground to inculcate a part of management and relationship skills to corp members.
List of Different CDS Group
This is not an exhaustive list but a quite a handful of the available groups in different local governments. In another of my articles I would be telling much about them and explaining each in detail.
Anti Corruption Club
Breast without Spots
NYSC Anti-HIV / AIDS Club (NAHAC)
Domestic Youth Tourism Group
MDG – FACOR & Debate to Action
Drug Free Club
Sports: Football / Volleyball
Integrated Rural Development (IRD)
Culture & Tourism
Dance & Drama
Farm & Agric
INDIVIDUAL CDS GROUP
This a personal kind of community service project where a corp member decides to contribute to the development of the host community as an individual.
This individual CDS comes with a lot of challenges and the outstanding one is finance. Most of the project you are going carry out would cost you money.
You will be required to solicit funds from the local heads, from the community and others who can support. Most times this aid comes late and or might never come after a number of promises and disappointment.
You might be forced to use your own money for the project (In fact a lot of corpers who choose to embark on this usually zero their mind to use their own fund considering the huge return it might yield). Examples of this kind of CDS project done in past include a school, sports field, toilet, bore hole, road signs, donations of items and the list continues.
Before you embark on an individual CDS project ensure to get approval from the state secretariat through the help of you local government inspector or else you are on your own.
This kind of CDS group comes with awards at the end of the service year. Note that doing an individual community project would not guarantee that you would win an award but most often than not many win.
The awards are in this category:
State Coordinators Award: is accompanied by a certificate presented by your state coordinator.
Local Government Award: is a local government award that comes with money prize.
State Government Award: is a state government award that comes with a certificate and money prize higher than that of the local government award.
Presidential Award: is an award presented by the president with a certificate, a money prize or scholarship or instant job offer.
COLLABORATIVE CDS GROUP
These are special community service groups formed in collaboration with business organizations, national and international agencies through the NYSC to carry out a different project or to increase their publicity among the public. Examples are the Millennium Development Goals, business plan competition and others. These groups might decide to meet once a week.
Does NYSC Community Development Service has any benefit?
Through the NYSC community development service, corp members help improve or add value to a community. It is also a solid symbol that corp members have impacted a community and served their country.
Here are some benefits of NYSC community development service to the community:
- Community development groups have become instruments of development and growth in many rural communities by providing essential amenities such as pipe-borne water and clinics.
- Community development groups have also affiliated or collaborated with private and government agencies to add value to communities. This has improved monitoring and accountability.
- The Community Development Groups also work with law enforcement agencies, health personnel and Non-governmental organisations that focus on improving the lives of residents of every community.
I believe you must have enjoyed this detailed info on Community Development Service in the NYSC program. I hope this information makes you a better part of your host community and to go through your service year with a lesser challenge. Remember to always drop a comment on our boxes found below. Till we meet again!